Rating: B+ Dwnld: Isolate, Too Soon
Snakadaktal burst onto the scene earlier this year with hit singles like Chimera, Air and my personal fave Dance Bear. This is the debut LP from the lads down under, and I pretty sure this will be in my top 15 releases at the end of the year. They seem to explore more emotions here than most bands do in their entire careers. Hung on Tight and Ghost are the first two singles released from Sleep in the Water, both are strong but I found some of the other tracks more diverse.
During the initial listen, I was attracted to Isolate and Deep. Isolate reminds me of early New Order with the duel vocals of Phoebe Cockburn and Shawn Heatcliff keep the song, and in hindsight the entire album, fresh with each listen. Isolate reminds me of a darker late 80’s New Order, balancing the soft guitar with chiming keyboards. Another surprising track is Feel the Ocean Hold Me, which is a bit more up tempo than some of its siblings and helps close out Side A.
The back half of the album is somewhat darker. Union and Too Soon are creative and have a XX taste to them. I especially adore Too Soon. Once again Phoebe and Shawn are able to balance each other, while Joseph’s guitar play has an almost “Cure Disintegration era” aroma to it. Fans of the previous single releases mentioned before, while might be taken back a little at first by the distant mood of this release, will eventually fall in love with almost every song on here. If you are new to Snakadaktal, then give the album the right setting for the initial listen.